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The brand new One size fits all diet!…do what I say because I’m thinner than you…

Hopefully you’ve read the title to this article and have said out loud “Ali stewart is a total idiot!”

However, I constantly get asked the same question by people or clients etc. which is, how do I lose fat? Or, what do you do to get into shape? I believe that most normal people who are looking to change their body composition believe that there is a secret method that they must do that just works. The truth is, there are a multitude of different approaches to dropping fat or gaining muscle. The key factor is you. Where you are right now with regards your shape, body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, fitness level, lifestyle, diet…. This list goes on.

It is for all the reasons that I’ve listed above why a ‘One size fits all’ approach simply will not work. Personally, I can get lean whilst still eating over 450g of carbs daily. Some people will gain fat on three licks of a dried prune!

There are many fitness professionals that will simply enforce and preach what they do and train you with their personal ethos and encourage you to mimic exactly what they do. Understandably, if it works for them, why wouldn’t it work for you? For the clear majority of people this won’t work. Scientific studies have shown that peoples individual ability to burn fat ranges from 25% for their maximal exercise effort up to 77% of your maximal exercise effort. This is a huge range so clearly you can’t train/feed both these individuals in the same way. As an individual you need to teach your body to burn fat. Your starting point has a huge impact on how you go about this.

Here are a few guidelines to improve your ability to burn fat for average or overweight people: –

If you have a high fat mass and low lean mass, then chances are your body is just not good at burning fat yet. Therefore, the only thing to improve this is to exercise. If you’re extremely overweight or unfit, start with low/med steady state exercise i.e. walking uphill or weight training until your fitness improves.Make your workouts progressive. Keep pushing your limits as fitness improves i.e. increase speeds, duration and the level of resistance.To train your body to use fat better as fuel you should try to train some of the time in a low carbohydrate fed state i.e. first thing in the morning before breakfast.Weight training and eating protein frequently will maintain/increase muscle mass. This increases your fat burning potential.The average person who trains three times per week, 30-60 mins, should eat three larger meals and two smaller meals, with most their carbs post workout. Meals before should be primarily meats, veg, fruits and fats.Keep hydrated.Chances are you’re more sedentary than you think, therefore, you need to control the large carb hits as this will encourage your body to burn fats, but don’t cut them completely!Consuming sports drinks during your workout will switch off fat burning, SO DON’T.Most importantly, you must create an energy deficit to burn fat. Fuel your body, exercise regularly and it will burn fat. Put more in than you need or don’t move enough and you will not burn fat. Simple.

This is not a ‘one size fits all’ diet and training plan. It is not meant for athletes, bodybuilders or highly trained individuals as your biochemistry is very different. This is aimed at normal people who don’t get why they can’t drop fat. The science is there. There is no mystery it’s just consistency and adherence. It may be a slow start while your body learns to burn fat and control insulin sensitivity.

Stick to my guidelines and you will succeed. As you progress, your diet and training should progress with it.

Here is a one day example menu I’d suggest for an office based 70kg person to consume daily if they trained 3 times a week and were looking to drop fat.

1 Breakfast: scrambled Egg and Veggies with whole-grain English muffin

Eggs, 3 large

Bell peppers, diced, 1/4 cup

Red onion, diced, 1/4 cup

Low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, 1/4 cup

1 Whole-grain English muffin

Calories: 429

Fat: 21 g

Carbs: 29 g

Protein: 31 g

Lunch: Apple-Stuffed Chicken

Gala apples, cored and diced, 2 medium

Garlic, 2 cloves

Red onion, chopped, 1/2 medium

Salt, Black pepper, to taste

Sage, fresh and chopped, 1 tbsp

Chicken breast, 120g.

Bread crumbs, 2 tbsp

cheddar cheese, grated,  25g

Coconut oil, 1/2 tbsp

Calories: 408

Fat: 16 g

Carbs: 28 g

Protein: 38 g

Pre-Workout Meal

1 scoop whey protein

Apple, 1 medium

Almonds, 15g.

Calories: 289

Fat: 9 g

Carbs: 32 g

Protein: 20 g

Post-Workout Meal: Cajun fish With Sweet Potato and Broccoli

Cajun spice

White fish (cod, haddock, pollock), 100g.

Baked sweet potato, 1 medium

Steamed broccoli, 1 cup

Calories: 359

Fat: 3 g

Carbs: 53 g

Protein: 30 g

Bedtime Snack

Plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 cup

Fresh berries, 1/2 cup

Dark cocoa powder, 1 tbsp

Calories: 233

Fat: 1 g

Carbohydrates: 31 g

Protein: 25 g

Nutrition Total

Calories: 1,718

Fat: 50 g

Carbs: 173 g

Protein: 144 g

This is not the ‘perfect diet’ it is just an example of how you could start to structure your food intake to help promote fat loss and metabolic adaptations which will help you get leaner and fitter. If you are looking for individual advice on training and nutrition plans then you can find me at Fat Al’s Gym.

Keep on lifitn’

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